Vacationing is the one thing working adults look forward to; once a year, we get to get away for a few days or a week or two. And if you’re considering Florida for your family vacation, you’re in luck! There are endless opportunities with some of the best places to go in Tampa with a family.
It isn’t always easy to take time off. And planning the actual vacation can be challenging (especially if you have a family to accommodate into the mix).
So we decided to help you narrow down your options!
We’ve been Tampa photographers for over a decade, so we’ve been around the block or two! We get a lot of traveling families that hire us for their family vacation photo sessions, so we always get the question,
“What are some fun family things to do around here?”
So, if you plan on vacationing here, let’s dive into our (highly recommended) family-friendly ideas for the rest of your time in the beautiful Tampa Bay!
First, we should probably explain the 3 main areas that makeup “Tampa.” There is:
Here’s a handy little map to show where each one is!
Each location is within a 20-30 minute drive (with plenty of restaurant pit stops along the way!). Out of this entire little peninsula, here are 7 of the best places to go in Tampa with your family!
Address: 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
They have over 9,000 animals in their facility, and they’re doing good for the planet while providing hours of entertainment.
And while we’re talking about aquariums, you can also visit the Clearwater Aquarium at 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL 33767.
It’s where Winter lives. The dolphin and the facility inspired the movie Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2.
Address: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612
Busch Gardens is an excellent place for kids and Mom and Dad. There are great rides, and you can see over 200 species of animals! There are some entertaining shows and plenty of rollercoasters as well.
Mom and Dad can check out the free, freshly brewed samples of Anheuser-Busch beer. You could spend multiple days at Busch Gardens and still not see everything.
Address: 25 Causeway Blvd, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
The Clearwater Beach sunsets are absolutely stunning. We highly recommend the sunset cruise!
You’ll have the best seats in the house, and you may see some fantastic wild dolphins!
Don’t forget to schedule your sunset family photo shoot on a different day, and we will ensure we capture the pirate ship in the background of your sunset family portrait.
Capturing 2 memories at once!
Address: 100 S. Myrtle Ave. Clearwater, FL 33756
Clearwater Beach is, of course, fabulous. And if you’re at Clearwater Beach, you can’t miss Pier 60.
It’s great for free entertainment. There are plenty of street performers, or you can just people-watch. Pier 60 extends 1,800 feet into the gulf and is another excellent place to view the sunset.
There is a playground and a pavilion to cool off on hot days.
Address: 1 Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Into the arts? The Salvador Dali Museum is a perfect place to see many works by the most famous surrealist artist.
Need a little time out of the sun? It is a great place to learn and chill.
Address: 1825 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704
This place is gorgeous! Love the flora and fauna? You’ll love Sunken Gardens. It also has koi ponds, tropical birds, and waterfalls; some plants are over 100 years old!
It’s right there by Sunken Gardens! The name really speaks for itself.
This place is full of experiential learning opportunities, but all the kids will know is they are having a great time!
We love the Tampa Bay Area, but the entire state of Florida has plenty of places to visit. You certainly have heard of some of the ones mentioned below, but a few you may not have.
Obviously, this is number one on the list because it’s one of the largest family-friendly parks out there!
Who wouldn’t want to walk next to Mickey Mouse or a Disney princess?
They have four major theme parks, two water parks, and over a couple dozen hotels to pick from. Not to mention the other attractions, like lakes, golf courses, and the shopping district.
We have many clients that spend part of their vacation at Disney and then head west to Clearwater Beach to soak up some rays.
This is Florida’s second biggest theme park attraction, with two theme parks, five resorts, a tropical water park, and plenty of shopping opportunities. I
f you don’t want all the crowds of Disney but still want the theme park thrill, then this Universal is a good option!
A more well-known area that offers access to a lighthouse, NASCAR racing, museums, and cheap hotels! If you’re looking for lots to do in Florida, this is one of your best bets.
Siesta Key in Sarasota is one of Florida’s more popular beaches, but without the congestion you’d find at Daytona!
Rather than offering museums and racing, the Key offers more nature-oriented, relaxing ways to explore, such as bike rides and kayaking.
The sand is 99% quartz which means it is cool to the touch; you don’t have to worry about burning your feet! You can also watch the dolphins play or go snorkeling!
The Everglades is the largest subtropical park in the United States and will take you several hours to actually drive through.
Here, you’ll have access to a guided tram, airboat tours, and walking trails to view the impressive park and its wildlife!
If you’re looking for more of a relaxed “tropical island getaway” vacation vibe, these islands are for you!
These islands not only have great beaches with an abundance of shells, but they also are home to sea turtles when it comes to nesting season. They offer cute shops, delicious food, and plenty of wildlife.
These are just some of the best places to go in Tampa with the fam!
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